The Ghana Extractive Industry Conference (GEISC) has opened in Takoradi to engage policy makers and businesses in the extractive industry in advocating and eventual promulgation of appropriate health and safety laws in the country.
The conference was hosted by the Sekondi/Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr. Ato Van Ess, Chairman of the STCCI, said with the development of high risks extractive industries in the Western Region, it was vital for all businesses especially small and medium enterprises to build the right awareness and competencies in the area.
He said this would also enable them to fully participate in the sector in fulfillment of the local content policy.
The GEISC would identify new trends, standards, innovations, risks and opportunities with regards to safety in the extractive industry.
Mr. Van-Ess said the country must build a new safety culture taking into consideration appropriate polices, enforcement, motivation of employees to pursue safety and safety education and orientation.
Capt Anthony Cudjoe (rtd), the Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the conference was an indication that extractive sector was prepared to maintain high standards.
He said, “This conference is important for the metropolis and the region as a whole due to the availability of such industries in the Region”.
Ms. Alice Attipoe of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations mentioned said the ministry was working at a national policy to regulate the HSE as well as address the gaps in ensuring that high standards are achieved.
Dr. Toni Aubynn, the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, said the country derived almost 60 percent in excess of foreign exchange, 100 per cent in oil and bauxite, and 50 per cent in gold and that safety must not compromised in the extractive sector.
He has therefore called for attitudinal change towards safety adding, “We must not resist good change”.
Mr. Kobina Okyere-Darko, MP for Takoradi, called for the establishment of health and safety schools in the country to ensure that the country was abreast with issues of safety and minimize accidents in the extractive sector. GNA